Bernard Marr article: “AI Can Now Make You Immortal – But Should It?”

Bernard Marr is an internationally best-selling author, popular keynote speaker, futurist, and a strategic business & technology advisor to governments and companies.

In an article published on Forbes Feb 21, 2023, he discusses the different possibilites to create digital twins of humans, either to preserve the memory of the person, or to continue life and consciousness after the biological body has ceased to function.

He writes:

“Some have proposed that if we capture enough data during someone’s life, it might be possible to keep them around indefinitely after their physical brain has gone. This may not be as difficult as it sounds – Microsoft researchers Gordon Bell and Jim Grey have estimated that logging every conversation that a human has over their entire lifespan would only require around one terabyte of storage.”

In the lifelogging community it is of course a wet dream to be able to record every conversation that you are having, be it meetings at work, telephone calls, or just dinner chats with the family.

Although these conversations would not in any way capture your inner monologue, your thoughts, or dreams (unless you are talking in your sleep all the time), it would still be a pretty good dataset to use when creating a digital twin that could be, or not be, conscious and aware.

In fact, you would not even need to store the audio recordings of your conversations, the transcription technology of today is good enough to convert the conversations to text. AI voice creation could then be used for the playback, or for the integration of these conversations in a future digital twin, even if the data is “only” stored in text format.

So, why is it not common practice to record and transcribe everything you are saying?

Most probably because people in general do not see the importance of “saving” their lifes as much as possible.

But a lot of the data we are generating is already there: Google Maps timeline, sent emails, Google Photos, diaries and notes, posts on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok Now etc, listening history on Spotify and other music services, viewing history on Netflix, YouTube and other video platforms, todo lists, health data like the nr of steps, browser history, your calender, phone calls, SMS, Basecamp projects etc etc, would count for a pretty good basic dataset for creating a digital AI replica of yourself.

Add to that the above mentioned conversations, in essence a data set made up of all your “output”, (and to some degree the input as well), add AI to fill in the gaps, and voila, a digital twin is born.

I believe that a life logging platform/app with the capability of gathering all the data your are generating could quickly become a multibillion dollar company. IF people understand the purpose of the logging, to “save” their lifes for a future replica.

It is important though to point out two things:

1) No life can be eternal in a transient universe. No human can ever be immortal, if the universe as a whole, ends (which it most probably will). Even though billions of years is a very long time, it is not an eternity.

2) A digital twin, virtual replica, AI copy of yourself, will of course not solve the problem of your biological body. An “upload” would always be another being. The best way to handle this problem, could be to “train” the digital twin over a longer period of time, merging the consciousness and awareness of the AI replica and yourself. Nevertheless, when your body dies, so do you.

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Daniel Johansson